We played ‘Doom’ on the Nintendo Switch


These screenshots are taken from the Switch version of DOOM.

Last year’s DOOM was without question my favorite game of 2016. To me, it was fast-paced shoot ’em up perfection. This year, the Nintendo Switch is my most-played console thanks to its additional portability and selection of great games that are perfect for both TV and off-TV play. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out two of my favorite things would come together to create a mishmash of awesomeness! I arrived into Bethesda’s preview event (which landed a day before the Nintendo Direct where the official announcement was made) and I had no idea the surprise that would be in store for me. DOOM is coming to the Nintendo Switch and I could not be more of a happy camper! I rushed to the demo station as fast as I could to play me some portable DOOM!

Unfortunate but Fair Compromises

The first thing I noticed while playing the intro level and then the Foundry was that the game was running at 30fps instead of 60fps like it does on every other platform. This is a bummer considering a fast-paced shooter like DOOM is best experienced with a higher framerate. Yet again, when you’re able to shoot demons in the face while sitting on the john, compromises have to be made so I’m willing to overlook the framerate.

Visually, it was hard to tell if the Switch version looked any worse than the other ports since I was playing on the 6.2 inch 720p screen, but what I can confirm is that the game doesn’t look ugly by a long shot, though the framerate is a dead giveaway for the Switch version. It isn’t like when a Call of Duty game would also release on the Wii and it looked miles uglier than its PS3 and 360 counterparts. I’m sure I would notice the downgrades if I saw the game running on a TV screen, but for the most part, it stacks up nicely on other consoles. This is owed mostly to the id Tech 6 engine, which is one of the most optimized game engines I’ve seen in a long time. I’m no tech expert, but what I do know about id Tech 6 is that it utilizes the Vulkan API which helps balance CPU/GPU usage while giving the best performance. The Nintendo Switch supports Vulkan so it’s safe to say we owe a lot of this port to this magical API!

What matters most about DOOM (and video games in general) is how well it plays, and I can confirm this is the same exact game. It took me awhile to get used to the controls on the Joy-Cons and Pro Controller since I’m used to playing the game on mouse and keyboard, but after I got past the learning curve, it felt like I was playing DOOM with very little compromise. Literally everything in the campaign that was there on the other consoles is here on the Switch: the same amount of enemies on screen, the same amount of item pickups and upgrades, and the same kickass soundtrack and weapons. The only thing that is missing is the SnapMap level editor, which I and many other players neglected anyway. Multiplayer also needs to be installed separately if you’re buying the game physically, and thankfully you’re getting the same experience there as well.

Switch owners that missed out on DOOM will have a lot to look forward to come this Holiday season. Not only is the game fun, but it offers a ton of replayability in its campaign alone, taking about 15 hours to beat on the normal difficulty with tons of collectibles and secrets in each level. Even though some hardcore DOOM fans don’t favor it that well, the multiplayer mode is still a solid addition to the main game Switch owners looking for more online shooters on their platform will have another option. I know I will be getting the game a second time on Switch and I’ll also be double-dipping with Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus when it launches on PC/PS4/Xbox One in October and the Switch next year.

Bethesda, you’re making us Nintendo fans proud with your confident support on the Switch. Hopefully, other third-parties will soon follow your example!

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